Kyle Leighton of Tapestry Girls tells us how they create products based on what their customers want.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Tapestry Girls.
Kyle Leighton: I started out in the construction industry years ago. I initially worked in marketing and studied lighting and electrical applications. As a result, I became very familiar with international sourcing and procurement. So when the idea to form Tapestry Girls came about, I knew how to establish it pretty quickly. I knew how to build a brand and an organization. The company has experienced aggressive growth year over year since I founded it, and I’m looking forward to its future growth.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Kyle Leighton: I read a lot. I spend a lot of time reading and learning about other cultures, other businesses, other countries, etc. In one way or another, everything in business boils down to education. And as it relates to business, most businesses are leading, or the established leaders, because they know certain information. They are in possession of a “secret recipe,” if you will. And that could be how to build a skyscraper, make a fine Italian dish, change the oil in a car, or you want to describe the offering. Regardless, those people and companies are in possession of information that the average person is not. And so, I spend as much time learning as I can so that I can continue to position my businesses as leaders in their industries.
How does Tapestry Girls market its product/services online?
Kyle Leighton: Tapestry Girls’ has its own website, but we also sell products through Redbubble, Society6, and Walmart. Utilizing 3rd party and affiliate websites is certainly something that I’ve wanted to emphasize this year just because some buyers are more comfortable buying from one company than the other. We’ve also ramped up our influencer marketing this year. Influencer marketing is becoming a much more important marketing strategy for businesses as social media continues to affect consumer buying decisions.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Kyle Leighton: Fortunately, for Tapestry Girls’ we outsource all of our marketing to a marketing agency. They deploy specific tools and services to achieve our marketing objectives. But, we do utilize social media and email marketing to get connected and stay connected to our customers. Klaviyo is one of them. Some of the features that Klaviyo offers seem to be unmatched in the email space, so it’s a really exciting tool and a huge benefit to our company.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Kyle Leighton: I hire and bring on people that I think understand the Tapestry Girls business and home decor and fashion minded. I also hire and bring on people I don’t need to help. Part of the way that I lead is by letting people do what they want to do. That’s how I am going to get the most out of an employee. And in my experience, employees like that. They want to be empowered. Every person I hire is a professional. They do not need to give me weekly updates or weekly reports or be micromanaged in any way. I am not a fan of that and think it is an enormous waste of time. And look where things have gone. Not only is everybody happy, but I have very healthy companies. The bottom line is that I hire people who know what they’re doing and leave them alone.
How are you funding your growth?
Kyle Leighton: I bootstrapped the company. Tapestry Girls is not the only company that I own. I’m also a real estate investor, so the funding for Tapestry Girls comes from me. That being said, I would be open to taking on investors. A few have approached me, but I haven’t needed to do that yet, so I haven’t done it. But it is something that is on my mind, especially considering where I think the company will ultimately go.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Kyle Leighton: I don’t see too many competitors for Tapestry Girls, and if there are, they usually don’t last. Part of the reason I founded the company is that there wasn’t a US-based tapestry company, and so I knew that there was an opportunity for the right company to be built. In terms of staying in the game, we’re always coming out with new products. Recently, we changed to positioning the company towards fashion trends, which has been really effective. The business has gotten to such a point with its brand name and look, and I feel that it would take a market shift at this point to affect our growth. In terms of positioning, Tapestry Girls is in a good place.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Kyle Leighton: We strive for every customer to be 100% satisfied with our products and buying experience. And so every time someone chooses to buy from Tapestry Girls and is happy with the service, experience, and product, it’s a customer success story. And it’s a really rewarding experience to be part of that.
Your final thoughts.
Kyle Leighton: I want to take a moment and thank all of our customers, colleagues, partners, and vendors for their support and continued loyalty. We look forward to continuing to support all of your home decor needs and hope everyone has a wonderful remainder of 2022.